Leader of German Christian Democrat Party Backs French Ban of Religious Symbols

February 4, 2004

Source: EUpolitix.com

http://www.eupolitix.com/EN/News/200402/337ee4a1-bd98-46d9-b0a9-f107bdc0 1209.htm

On February 4, 2004 EUpolitix.com reported, "Muslim headscarves should be banned in schools, the leader of the European Parliament’s largest political group has told EUpolitix.com. Entering the fray of the controversial debate over the freedom to wear Muslim veils in public institutions, German Christian Democrat MEP Hans-Gert Poettering stepped firmly into the ‘no’ camp. In the first of a series of EUpolitix interviews with the parliament’s political group leaders, the centre-right EPP/ED chief argued that the veil is a 'political, not only religious, expression.' 'If it is in schools then I would be reluctant as far as Muslims are concerned. But if it is in the streets then it is totally different,' he said. 'If the teacher wears this veil on the street then that is totally acceptable and it is an expression of the liberty of cultural expression.' But he added that, 'I think the school should remain a place where these expressions should not be used as an influence on the people who are being educated.'"